Memorial Day ceremony planned for Monday 

  PSU
  Wednesday, May 23, 2018 8:00 AM
  Alumni, News

Pittsburg, KS

Memorial Day

U.S. Army Captain Kristina Willis, a 2014 Pittsburg State University graduate whose specialty is military intelligence, will be the keynote speaker at the annual Memorial Day ceremony at the PSU Veterans Memorial, 1909 S. Rouse. 

The ceremony is planned for 9:30 a.m. on Monday, May 28, and is open to the public. In the event of inclement weather, it will be moved to the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts. 

Serving as emcee for the ceremony will be Lt. Bryce Johnson, PSU Army ROTC. The National Anthem will be sung by Hayley Dozier, Grove High School, and “Taps” will be played by Zachery Brice, Grove High School.   

The ceremony also will include a dedication of new pavers, music, and an invocation and benediction by Jordan Hodges of Trinity Baptist Church. 

Willis is currently assigned to 1-1 Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas, where she is the Battalion Intelligence Officer responsible for Aviation Air Threat Analysis for the Central Command Area of Responsibility.  

Additionally, she recently graduated as the Honor Graduate from the Military Intelligence Captain’s Career Course at Ft Huachuca, Arizona where her studies included analysis of doctrine and tactics of prominent national security threats.  

Willis grew up in Pittsburg and received her commission from the Pittsburg State University ROTC in 2014 when she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies.   

In addition to the standard curriculum at PSU, she attended Basic Combat Training, Advanced Individual Training, Air Assault School, and Airborne School. From 2010 to 2013, she was a member of the PSU Women’s Basketball Team.  

After graduation and completion of the Intelligence Basic Officer Leadership Course, she reported to the Joint Special Operations Command, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. She began her Army career as an Intelligence Analyst, supporting units forward in Afghanistan. She then reported to the 160th Special Operation Aviation Regiment, where she became the Assistant Battalion Intelligence Officer; coordinating collection, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence products with National, Joint, Theater, and Operational level agencies in support of operations and training.   

While fulfilling this position, she deployed to support both the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns on four separate occasions. She served as a Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems Platoon Leader in the first and only Army Special Operations Command MQ-1C Gray Eagle Company and was responsible for the detailed planning, preparation and successful execution of multi-aircraft worldwide deployments in all environments.   

Willis' many awards and decorations include the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, two Afghanistan Campaign Medals, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the NATO Medal, and two Army Achievement Medals.